Stop and smell the roses!Heidi Hadley
In line with this week’s Total Somatics’ Facebook video series ‘Mindful in May’ we are going to discuss how we can slow down and enjoy life; becoming mindful and savouring our surroundings.
Your mind is absolutely amazing because it consists of conscious and unconscious mental activities and processes. You can reason, think, understand, judge, analyse, empathise, sympathise and imagine/visualise. We all have willpower (although that often needs working on!!), we can create intention, make choices and decide on an action. We have the capacity to dream goals, plan and anticipate. But our mind can also make us worry, over analyse, deceive us and make us forgetful. This is all going on without realising what an amazing piece of anatomy and physiology we carry around in our head.
So in line with mindfulness, we should harness the amazing capacity we have and take advantage of neuroplasticity in order to grow and develop our brains further.
We know from functional MRIs that mindfulness practise thickens the areas of the brain responsible for focus, awareness, concentration, decision making and emotional intelligence. Sara Lazar, a leading psychologist at Harvard Medical School researched specific areas of grey matter with people who practised mindfulness. She revealed her findings and said, “Our data suggests that mindfulness practice can promote cortical plasticity in adults in areas important for cognitive and emotional processing and well being. The structure of an adult brain can change in response to repeated practice.”
So how can we thicken our grey matter with mindfulness? Does it take a specific skill? Do we have to have qualifications to ‘master’ mindfulness?
Mindfulness does not require a qualification to say that you can do it. We all have an amazing brain and we can harness these skills. Each week in May 2017 I have been highlighting how we can condition our brain and develop mindfulness in different areas of our life. If you are reading this blog after May 2017, please check out the Total Somatics You Tube channel, the mindfulness videos are on there. The videos are designed to watch over and over so we can apply mindfulness to every day of the year.
Slow down and go with the flow
The Total Somatics Facebook video series has highlighted how we really need to slow down and absorb our surroundings, activities or sensations. This action is helping to slow down your central nervous system, allowing you to train your mind and body not to live in a ‘busy’ state of mind all the time. We know how to work hard and fast. But it takes patience, time and regular practice to teach ourself to slow down, work small and move subtle with our Somatics practice. Many of my clients comment after their somatics class (or one on one clinical somatics session) that they have found that the time has flown by. They were so absorbed in the moment, that the time just raced by. This is a great comment to hear because we know that if a person is truly absorbed in an activity, it makes it very difficult for their mind to wander off or for past or future thoughts to make their way in to their head. The great aspect of being fully absorbed in your somatics practice is that although at times it can feel challenging with trying to coordinate certain limbs, the actual movement session is so intrinsically rewarding that any effort required doesn’t seem to be overwhelming, instead rewarding; especially when you sense and feel the changes from the beginning to the end of the session.
Throughout your somatics practice with Mindfulness with Total Somatics, I highlight to clients to be mindful of particular movements and to heighten their awareness to certain sequences. This mindful approach is integral to the online Total Somatics program. The 8 week course plus an additional 2 weeks free online access teaches you about Somatics, movements to help reduce pain and improve mobility, Mindset videos and how we can apply mindfulness in our daily activities.
Somatics is an amazing modality because we are changing the way the body moves, responds and operates by improving the wiring of our brain, it really is Neuroplasticity at its best!
Improve the health of your mind and body by joining the online Total Somatics program today.